SMBs Aware Of Benefits Of Power Management, But Not Doing Much About It - InformationWeek
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9/8/2009
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Fredric Paul
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SMBs Aware Of Benefits Of Power Management, But Not Doing Much About It

A new survey by Dimensional Research for KACE reveals that smaller companies are more likely to understand the cost benefits of desktop power management, but less likely to have a green initiative in place.

A new survey by Dimensional Research for KACE reveals that smaller companies are more likely to understand the cost benefits of desktop power management, but less likely to have a green initiative in place.If you ask me, the survey results seem to confirm the impression that companies of all sizes like to talk about their green efforts more than they actually like to follow through.

In general, the study says, "the vast majority of participants (93%) say that they believe there is an opportunity for organizations to save energy and reduce costs by implementing power management for desktop and laptop computers."

"Pretty much everyone sees desktop power managments as a way to reduce costs, said KACE's Wynn White. "It's like motherhood and apple pie." Yet even though they see potential benefits, 56% don't manage desktop power in any way. And of those that do, 21% merely suggest that employees turn off their machines when they go home for the night. Only 10% use a commercial solution.

But when you get into the details of how big a benefit companies can expect, awareness drops preciptously and you start to see significant differences between large and small companies.

Diane Hagglund, senior research analyst for Dimensional Research and the survey's author, said that overall, almost half of respondents (48%) were "unaware of the details of actual or expected cost savings from desktop power management." Surprisingly, big companies were even more clueless. Some 61% of companies with more than 5,000 employees didn't know about the benefits, while only 40% of companies with 500 or fewer workers "lacked awareness."

But according to the survey, cost and savings issues were not the main reasons that companies aren't doing desktop power management. The biggest concern turns out to be that businesses don't want to turn off PCs at night because then they can't accept automated patches and upgrades (KACE, natch, touts this issue as benefit to its KBox systems management appliance's ability to remotely power on desktops for patching or other purposes.) End-user objections (almost 35%) and cost (more than 25%) were also concerns, and "we just hadn't thought about it" was also a popular response (almost 25%). Those reasons didn't vary much by company size.

On the other hand, Hagglund points out that "as company size increases, companies are much more likely to have a green initiative in place."

Greeninitiatives

It's not entirely clear why that is the case. Hagglund says it might be because larger companies face greater PR pressure to have "some sort of green initiative, no matter how deep it actually is." Or it could be that larger companies are simply more likely to give a formal name and structure to their green efforts, while smaller companies simply go out and do it.

Similarly, larger organizations are more advanced in their data center and desktop power management efforts -- 49% of companies with more than 5,000 employees do data center power management, versus just 35% of companies with fewer than 500 employees, and 52% of big companies do desktop power management compared to 42% of small companies. Of course, the desktop initiatives can be as casual as reminding employees to turn off their computers when they're not in use.

White adds that desktop power management also varies by industry, with 58% of educational institutions participating but only 20% of health care organizations.

The August study surveyed more than 500 respondents in a range of company sizes and vertical markets around the world.

Don't Miss: IT Energy Efficiency Slips In Priority

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